Monday, April 28, 2014

2 Nephi 31


This has been a great week, like always.  Super long but super good.  We have been doing a lot of service for a lady in the branch.  Lots of work for her to get ready to plant her aji (chiles), tomatoes, onions, apples, membrillo, and other herbs and stuff.  Also, our weekly activities at the church are going well.  We held English class and a movie night and lots of people came.  We also had sports night, but it started raining so no one came.  This week we also had two completadas, where we just buy a ton of hot dogs, avocado, tomatoes, buns, and mayonnaise and make a ton of completos.  Super super good.
Spanish is coming along.  Im using it a lot more now and Im starting to be able to converse better with people.  Its taking a lot of faith to keep going with the language, but its working out well so far.

Highlight of the week: My companion and I had the opportunity to baptize 12 year old Felipe and his 8 year old brother Edison.  It was a really great experience.  It really strengthened their family and brought them closer to each other and to Christ.  On Sunday, we confirmed them members of the church.  When someone is confirmed, they also receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  They both left that day with smiles on their faces.  We also gave the same confirmation to Jose, the older man who was baptized last Sunday.  Jose and Felipe also received the Aaronic, or preparatory, Priesthood. This priesthood is the authority and power of God given to man on earth to act in his name to further the work of salvation.  It is used to carry out ordinances that God has established.  The Aaronic Priesthood contains a measure of this authority, and is given first to prepare someone to receive the rest of the authority, which is contained in the higher priesthood, or Melchizedek Priesthood.  This beautiful principle was prevalent in the Bible and was restored with the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was a weekend of beautiful experiences and ordinances.
All I can say for this week is “act.” We cannot accomplish anything in this life until we act.  We can have just a ton of faith in God and in Christ and think about doing good things all day, but until we act, nothing happens.  The way God works is that He asks us to exercise a little faith, and usually to do something small, and then He dumps a ton of blessings on us.  He makes our life into so much more than we can.  We can try and try to make our life into what we want, but if we neglect to allow God to shape us, we end up far from the person we could be.  Do the little things.  Act on thoughts to do good.  Read the scriptures, go to Church, and pray every day. These three things bless us with revelation and “spiritual nutrition.” A good goal is to do little acts of faith and little sacrifices when necessary. These will help us take the leaps of faith and make the big sacrifices when we need to.   Little actions proceed great blessings, here and hereafter.  
Keep doing good.  Sigan adelante. Que Dios les bendiga… Les quiero.
Elder Peck

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Super Mario


So this week flew by.  A couple highlights: Mission conference with the mission President on Wednesday.  Had a great futbol game on Saturday with the members of the congregation. Today we did a big service project for an older lady.  We watched her catch a chicken and kill it and make it into a delicious cazuela, or chicken soup stuff for us.  Also, Sunday the Stake Presidency came and helped us get more organized and coordinated as a branch.  Great talks given on Easter Sunday. Here in Chile, this week was the Semana Santa, or Holy Week for Easter.  All this really means for Chileans is that they have another excuse to drink lots of wine.  Lots of drunks in the street this week.  They are really receptive to our message, but we figure our time is better spent elsewhere, so we avoid them.
But the best part of the week was on Sunday.  Mario had the opportunity to baptize someone! Having been found worthy, the same Sunday he was confirmed a member of the church, he received the Aaronic Priesthood, which contains the authority to baptize.  Mario understands this authority better than most, despite the little time he has in the Church.  He realizes the responsibility he has to stay worthy to act according to the will of God.
The man he baptized is named Jose.  He is about 80 years old.  He has a wonderful spirit and the baptism was beautiful.  I have never seen two more humble souls than those I saw in the baptismal font that day.  The baptism was performed and Jose came out of the water thanking God.  Mario gave him a handshake and a hug and warm welcome to the "family of the church," as he calls it. Everyone there could feel something good.
Humility, love of God, and sense of duty bring miracles.  Always  be willing to do what you need to do, even if it is hard.  Usually it is.  Life is good, but not always easy.  The difficult road of righteousness leads to eternal happiness and offers joy along the way.  Thanks for all your support.

Elder Peck

Monday, April 14, 2014

¿Qué clase de hombres habéis de ser?

Mario's baptism

So this week was really great.  I had another intercambio, or more exchanges with the other sector, so I spent another day and a half with a Spanish speaking companion, which went really well and I got to work a lot on my Spanish.  

The best part of the week however was Mario´s baptism.  He got baptized! It was a great service with lots of people there (and for our branch a lot of people is like 8).  My companion baptized him and we confirmed him a member of the Church on Sunday.  It was an amazing experience for all of us.
When he came out of the water, I asked him how he felt.  He said "Nuevo," or new.  He was so happy.  He was on the verge of tears after coming out and vocally thanked God for the experience.  Hes not going to falter.  On Sunday, he was confirmed a member of the Church, recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost, and was given the assignment to be the Branch Mission Leader.  I cant think of anyone better for that assignment. Today he stopped by to tell us that he got a suit and is getting it cleaned and ready for Sunday.  I love that guy. He really grasps what God has asked of him and has the right attitude about it.  He is letting the gospel and Heavenly Father change his life. I want to be more like him. He is a very Christ-like individual and I cant wait to see his progression. So thats my spiritual thought. Be like Mario.  Or even better, be like Christ.  Read the scriptures and search for His attributes and model your life to become like Him, in the sense of serving others, being faithful, humble, diligent, and courageous.  We don't have to walk the difficult road He walked, but we can follow His example to honor Him, accept His sacrifice, and one day be like Him and return to live with Him. I love all of you and hope everything is going well.  All is well here.  Keep up the work of salvation wherever you are.  

¿Qué clase de hombres habéis de ser? En verdad os digo, aun como yo soy. 3 Nefi 27:27
 Elder Peck
An awesome planner the Hermanas made me

Monday, April 7, 2014

El Salto, El Intercambio, y La Conferencia General

Rainbow in Los Angeles
Salto Reyen waterfall
This week flew by. Last Monday, we went on a three or four mile hike to Salto Reyen for Preparation Day. There was beautiful scenery the whole way and the waterfall was awesome.

This week we did companionship exchanges with the entire zone, about 30 missionaries in the nearby area. My companion was Elder D from Uruguay and we were assigned to work in my sector, leaving me in charge of the work for the day. He doesn't speak English, so we spoke Spanish all day.

We contacted all day, knocking doors and talking in the street. The appointments we had fell through and we started running out of doors to knock in the small town where we live. It was the end of the day and I had run out of ideas. We were walking down the street and we had the thought to turn around and knock on the door of a house we just passed. When we knocked on the door, a woman pulled up in her car in front of the house. She walked to the house across the street, so we turned and knocked on that door, as no one lived in the house we contacted first. She invited us in. She was ready for the gospel. She's Catholic and treasures her Bible and showed us the cool knitted cover she had made for it. We shared with her the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and our testimonies as well. She had great, thought provoking questions and perfect responses to our questions. She received the message with an open heart and mind. We plan to visit her again soon. I am not sure what will happen with her, but its easy to tell that God is preparing people to receive the truth.

Bridge in Trintre

Our friend Mario is also doing good. He attends the entire service every Sunday and is willing to serve in the Church. He always wants to help and inspires me daily. He looks for ways to help, rather than looking for ways to serve himself.
Other highlight of the week: General Conference. The General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a meeting in which the prophet, the president of the Church, and the twelve Apostles, as well as other Church leaders address all the members of the Church in the world.
Haven't missed a priesthood sesión without having ice cream haha

The conference is meant for everyone, members of the Church or not. If you are not a member, go watch or listen or read some of the talks give. They can be found on There are inspiring and will help you gain perspective, comfort, and guidance. The talks given there are not the words solely of the people who spoke, but they are what God wants us to know at this time. A topic that stood out out me was obedience. The example was given of a team of horses. The driver of the horses knows the best way to direct the team. The horses may not understand why the driver want them to go a certain direction, but if they obey with exactness to every tug of the reins, he will lead them in the best way down the right path. We may not know the reasons for commandments, but we obey them because we know that they were given by God. He is in control and He knows whats best. Lets exercise a little faith and follow Him, regardless of whether we fully comprehend why He has asked us to do something.
Anyways, thanks again for all the emails and support! God speed. Que le vaya bien...
Elder Peck